Meditation!

We lead a complex life and there are many reasons for it. There can be a real-life situation like a death or a birth or a perceived situation. In birth and death there is nothing perceived. Many situations arise in our life but situations are perceived differently by each person. Many times, perceptions are different because we observe things or get information about situations out of context. “Pramod is a terrible person to deal with, even his enemies will never say this!” My close was talking with someone about me. That someone only heard “Pramod is a terrible person to deal with”, and not the complete sentence; he thought that if a close friend of Pramod is saying this, then it must be true! This is how the perceptions get created.   

People meditate or pray to connect with our creator! Each has his own way of doing things in life. To me, a pursuit of anything where there is no benefit commercial or otherwise, is meditation. Why meditation is done? Meditation is done to achieve peace of mind; our mind is flustered many times because most of the situations in life are not under our control. We are travelling and the flight or the bus is late. You want to attend a meeting and there is a big traffic jam! You want to buy that house but you are way short of funds. There are situations galore and you want to remain cool! Is it possible? Is it practical? What does a near atheist like me do? I generally never pray, I never meditate in the conventional way. How do I relieve my stress? In the last few years, I have found that when I am writing my blogs, I feel serene! I am very much engrossed in writing and during this phase, I am not flustered. This is especially true when I am writing early morning after I have had my quota of sleep.  

What happens when we meditate? There are any number of methods for meditating but the end result is expected to be the same. The peace of mind! Once we master our own technique for meditation, we are sort of floating on a different level! The atmosphere is relaxed and we feel that there is positive energy around us. Meditation brings control on our mind to some extent. Controlling mind is one of the toughest things in this world. To me meditation and control of mind are synonyms. Why does our mind waver? There are many things happening in our life, simultaneously. Our mind has its own way of arranging and rearranging things going on in our mind. It prioritizes in its own way.

You may be going to office by bus or by train. Your mind will not bother about this event, normally. But you need to be in your office at least half an hour before your normal time to prepare for an important meeting. Then this simple event of going to the office on that particular day will be on the top of the agenda in your mind! This is because it is an important event for that day. Similarly, there may be more than one thing on priority on a day. You have had a major disagreement with your spouse or the partner, you have lost money on the share market, your boss has given you a piece of mind for no fault of yours; the list can be unending on a particular day! This is when your mind goes into a spin, you toss and tumble, you remain agitated.   

You try to meditate but you cannot concentrate! Your thoughts are jumping from one end of the spectrum to the other. You need to practice to meditate. You cannot learn to meditate overnight. Meditation, after all, is getting control on the mind! Your mind is a funny thing. You get waves of thoughts like sea waves are generated by the wind, one after the other. Your mind is like a small bird, at one instance it is on the terrace of the building opposite you and the next moment it flies to sit on the tree! There is saying in Marathi about the mind, “मन चिंती ते वैरी न चिंती!” What it means is that when our mind goes into a spin, the thoughts or conclusions it generates, will not come into the mind of even our worst enemy! Yes, during this stage we are not in a position to think properly, we are not able to decide properly. Meditation comes into the picture at this stage!  

Why we are not able to meditate? Why we remain in the vicious circle of so many thoughts in mind, hence the indecisive state of mind? Ability to meditate with your own method is very important in life, both professional and personal. In our “busy” life we forget this most important aspect of life! We go for walks or Gym (hopefully) to keep our body fit. Meditation is a way of keeping your mind fit for your life’s journey! Our journey is much more pleasant when both our body and mind are kept fit! It is in our hands.  But many of us forget or say that they don’t have time for the fitness of the body as well as the mind. Almost none have time to keep their mind fit! Meditation is for Sadhus, Gurus, Monks and oldies. Humans cannot be more wrong!   

What can we compare meditation with? Is it like a river? No, a river in monsoon is turbulent like our mind. Is like a lovely summer breeze? Cyclones show us the fury of the wind like our mind. Is it like clouds, those serene ones which show nature in its full glory at the sunrise or sunset? No, the monsoon clouds can really give us a feel of Lord Shankara’s Tandav Nrutya!   

But yes, we can compare it with our travel by air. The flight takes off and if you are lucky you go to sleep! Except for the mild whine of the engines, the daytime atmosphere can be serene outside. You may see some beautiful Sunrise, which I saw while landing at Bucharest once. Once while travelling from Pune to Delhi in monsoon, there were dark clouds at Pune and they continued for an hour. But once we reached the cruising height, I could see the nature at its best. After an hour we crossed into white cloud zone and the beauty continued. I was travelling alone, seated in the window seat and felt out of this world. There were no other thoughts in my mind and whatever anxiety I had while at Pune airport, about next day’s meeting, simply vanished.   

Lack of meditation and exercise changes your persona. I have a friend who has gone through a lot of ups and downs in life. While in college days, he was a jolly and happy person. I met him a couple of times after 45 years. He has not tried to correct his physical fitness. The way he talks and writes, one feels pity for such a person. He is neither here nor there in life. I am sure he does not meditate, this is reflected in his frustrated behaviour with others. I feel that he has other difficulties in life, which we don’t know about. But I feel that he will get peace of mind in the golden phase of life if keeps himself bodily and mentally fit!   

Saying prayers, saying OM, singing bhajans, writing, painting, singing, dancing, observing nature are various ways to meditate. You may add your method to the list. But please, please meditate regularly. Find time for keeping your body and mind in top gear!   

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By God’s Grace !

I had shared some photos, taken by me,  on Facebook and WhatsApp with friends. My friend Vijay sent me the following message.

“When you see this kind of natural spectacles you get immersed in the vastness- be it Skies- Oceans- huge land spreads- deserts- green lush spreads- mountains and – – – – I don’t know what happens to others, but I get God feelings……”

Vijay, you stole the words from me! This world is so full of good things, that sometimes it is difficult to be negative. This is too general a statement, life can be tricky, tough and sad for many. Usually there are two extremes in everything. But it averages out in most cases, life is made of good and the bad things. Since things yo yo between good and bad, we can enjoy the good part. But I always wonder, why some people always take things negatively.

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When they are in negative mode, they take advise from palmists, gurus and believe in and perform some very weird rituals! I know of someone who is not keeping well for some time; the sickness is pretty bad and almost irreversible. I can understand that person trying different non-conventional options. Along with this, the methods mentioned above are also tried out. Since, this person’s medical case is bad, it is understood that person remains in negative frame of mind.  But due to negative frame of mind, that person follows same extreme methods and thought process, for any small thing going wrong with the family. Except that person’s major illness, nothing abnormal is happening in the family. Someone changing a job, someone having temporary setback in business, it’s is all treated in the same way, very negatively!

Why people think this way? How they become so negative? All of us, always see the same things in the world, same sky, same trees, same clouds and rain, feel the same weather, listen to the same birds. But facilities of some persons get shut to such feelings. With this frame of mind, they disturb the atmosphere in homes, though unwittingly. (One queer thing I observe when I take my walk in the morning. People have ear buds and they are either listening to songs or talking on  cell phone, while walking! Nature for them doe not exist)

I know of another family who had land disputes, ancestral family disputes and what have you. There was always tense situation in the home, within the family, within extended family! The siblings had stopped talking with one sibling since last thirty years. Once while having a coffee with one of the sibling, the same old subject came out. Of course, the situation was explained to us, vehemently. At the end when the things cooled down a bit, they got excited even while explaining to me, I asked a simple question. What did all of you gain? They had no answer. Then I said is it ok if explain the situation. They said ok. I said, ” You all did not talk your one sibling for thirty years.” All included their mother too! I further said, ” You have lost that precious time when there could have been so many enjoyable moments.” End of story is, there is no progress in property dispute. The case has not even gone to court! There were skirmishes within other siblings also, so there was no agreement about anything!

People believe in reincarnation, but I am a firm believer of one life! At any time during our life time, we do not know how much more time we have on this earth; it could be one second, it could be many more years! God is great and by His Grace so many good things are there right in front of us. God has given great brain to humans and it has been used mostly in a very productive and gainful manner. These days you dream of somethings which is considered fictional, at that time. In next ten or twenty years, these things are already there in real life use. That is also a beauty that we tend to miss.

Our generation, which is around 70, has seen so much variation that according to me it is more than enough for three life times. Some people take it in a very positive manner and some people keep on cribbing. They say, these days things are not as they were in our times. I tell them, “This is our time”! Some of us are lucky that with their goodish health, and reduced or no responsibilities, they can really enjoy life. They can travel, they can chat with friends, some people are called out of their retirement to give back more by some organizations. Some have started painting. My friends Anil and Pravin are enjoying their full love for music. Anil plays saxophone professionally and Pravin has formed his troupe and gives shows, where they sing melodious songs to different themes. These things my friends, are possible only because of His Grace!

I know of some families, who have suffered all the time for years together. But I have seen some of them who still have smile on their face. I asked a friend whose family has suffered with many setbacks for a long time, the secret of his smile. I asked him the secret of positivity. He said, ” Pramod, we have a tendency to blame HIM when things go wrong; but we forget to thank HIM when good things happen for us. So, if you remember that everything is due to God’s Grace, it is very easy to remain positive”.

I am sharing more of His Grace below! Nature most of times has only good sides. The photos above and photos below were Sunrise and Sunset on the same day!

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